Purchasing new cookware is exciting, but can also be an overwhelming experience. There are an incredible amount of product options, and it can be difficult to differentiate what to buy or how much to spend.
We’ll take a closer look at one of the better-known brands, its features and drawbacks in our extended Calphalon Classic review.
We spent 10 hours analyzing product information and collecting owner feedback on this line, to give you a better understanding of how it performs in most kitchens.
Calphalon has been making hard-anodized cookware, bakeware and cutlery since 1963. Originally the brand was called “Commercial Aluminum Cookware,” which specialized in products for professional kitchens.
By the early 1990s, Calphalon was becoming popular among home cooking enthusiasts who were self-educated in the culinary arts and looking to step up to pro-grade tools.
Today Calphalon is still focused on serving the needs of cooking enthusiasts with durable performance products, and convenience features added specifically for home use.
With the Classic collection, Calphalon introduced a number of “convenience” features like fill lines and easy-pour spouts, and made them available across a variety of cookware materials.
Classic is offered in ceramic, stainless steel, hard-anodized aluminum and traditional nonstick constructions. We’ll cover the material differences more extensively in this article.
- Innovative no boil-over insert puts a stop to messy spills when making pasta, rice, potatoes, and beans—giving you the freedom to focus on...
- The BPA-free silicone insert recirculates boiling water back into the pot, based on testing of rice, beans, pasta, and potatoes
- The insert allows for stirring and additional seasoning through its center opening, while stay-cool handles allow the insert to be easily...
- Dual-layer nonstick for easy food release, and quick cleanup
- Convenient measuring marks, pour spouts & straining lids save time
- Durable hard-anodized aluminum construction
- Impact-bonded aluminum bases provide fast, even heating. Stainless steel cookware is safe for the stove, oven, broiler, and dishwasher.
- Long, ergonomic handles provide a secure grip even with full, heavy pans, stay cool even when pan is hot, and are double-riveted by hand.
- Fill lines make measuring easy, and covers have straining holes that line up with pour spouts to drain liquids without having to use a...
- Eco-friendly PFOA-free ceramic nonstick cooking surface for easy food release and quick cleanup
- Convenient measuring marks, pour spouts & straining lids on select pans
- Durable for easy, everyday cooking
The overall look of the Classic collection is modern and smooth.
The pots and pans are equipped with fill lines for convenient measurements, which may free up counter space of traditional measuring cups. In our kitchen fill lines are particularly helpful in maintaining good water / ingredient proportions for preparation of base grains and legumes.
Each dish is designed with a directional pour spout, and the lids are equipped with straining holes to assist in removing liquid. If you are a pasta-loving chef, this capability may remove your need to frequently use (and clean) a colander.
The set is equipped with long stainless steel handles, which are aesthetically pleasing and provide a cool touch during stovetop use. The Classic collection is oven-safe, so be sure to use a hot mitt when handling from the oven.
Each handle is pressed with a convenient end loop which allows for easy hanging storage.
Owners are impressed by the sleek look of the handles, and say they allow the cookware to balance effectively on most kitchen elements in spite of their sturdy weight and length.
The Classic lids are well-fitted with a tempered glass construction. The material is shatter-safe and allows for easy food monitoring while a meal is in progress.
A mesh strainer feature is set into the stainless steel rims to allow for easy draining of extra liquids without spilling solid ingredients. These holes also allow steam to escape, rather than kicking the lid and condensing down the side of the pots.
The lids are also set with stainless steel u-grips for a cool touch when removing.
The Classic collection is offered in a variety of configurations, from individually marked pieces to a full 14-piece set.
The options are convenient, but from a practical standpoint most kitchens are likely to benefit most from either 1) an individual dish that fills a specific need, or 2) the 10-piece set, which will accommodate most common home culinary operations.
For this review, we are focusing on the 10-piece set which includes,
- 8” fry pan
- 10” fry pan
- 1.5-quart covered sauce pan
- 2.5-quart covered sauce pan
- 3-quart covered saute pan
- 6-quart coerced stock pot
Calphalon Classic offers consumers the option of buying individual pieces as well as purchasing the whole set. If you are still trying to determine which collection is best for you, take a moment to look at the four different options that Calphalon Classic has available.
This set includes ten pots and pans with no-boil inserts that help prevent messy spills in the kitchen. The set is nonstick, which allows for easy cooking and cleaning.
The nonstick products from this line come with an interior nonstick coating. The coating is PFOA-free and makes for easy cooking and clean-up. As everyone knows, this is a dream combination for the cook in the family and the cleaning crew.
This set comes with the usual pots and pans, including a griddle and a dutch oven with its own cover. The line also includes the pour spout and measuring mark that all cooks will appreciate.
This set features different sized pots and pans with the very details that make this line easy to cook with and easy to clean. The collection includes frying pans, saucepans, and more. It is oven safe, and durable.
This 13 piece set includes three omelet pans, a saute pan, and more. All pots and pans come with a cover lid and pour spout. The long handles included in this set come with a stay-cool feature.
What We Like
Calphalon has been a leading manufacturer of well-made cookware for decades. Even though they were best known for their durable aluminum cookware, they’ve expanded their line to meet the growing needs of cooks of all experience levels.
Calphalon makes it easy for people to try out their cookware with the option to buy one or a few pieces at a time. While some may be looking to buy a brand new and full set of cookware, others may only have the need, space, or budget to buy one stock pot or saucepan. Since the design doesn’t change much, you can add to your cookware collection at your convenience.
Aside from its versatility, Calphalon cookware is designed to “stack and nest in any order” to save you space and have more organization in your kitchen.
What We Don’t Like
Depending on the type of set you choose, the drawbacks of Calphalon cookware may vary. While the ceramic coating is a healthier non-stick alternative, it has a shorter lifespan, is not dishwasher friendly, and requires special care.
The classic non-stick coating is easy to cook with and clean, but you need to know how to work with non-stick coating to prevent scratches and damage. For users who like to use metal utensils or need to scrub their pots and pans, classic non-stick is not the best choice.
Finally, stainless steel is well-loved by many who have experience in the kitchen, but for others it can be hard to take care of and not as budget-friendly.
Things To Consider Before Buying
Apart from the design and core features of this collection, there are some benefits and drawbacks that you should consider before purchasing.
Calphalon Classic, like all other cookware in this line, is designed to be durable for everyday cooking for your family or chef-like cooking at home.
The line offers years of reliability in the kitchen. The durable aluminum used, as well as the nonstick feature, makes for easy cleaning and managing. The line also claims to withstand everyday use’s stress through regular wash or heat exposure.
However, remember that nonstick pans generally have a shelf life, depending on how they are handled. Using metal devices such as spatulas, tongs, and other utensils may scrape the pan’s coating, which will give it a shorter lifespan.
Being mindful of how you wash the pan is also advised. The Calphalon Classic line, for example, requires that the products are hand-washed, as putting it in the dishwasher can damage it.
If you are careful and follow instructions on using them, the Calphalon Classic Non-stick pans will most likely be a staple in your kitchen for several years.
The stainless steel line does not come with the limitations of the nonstick lines. It is dishwasher safe and can be used with any utensils while cooking. It also is not as fragile as the nonstick lines, which many consumers may find to be a better option for them.
The Calphalon Classic line makes for easy cooking. The nonstick lines offer pans that have durable coatings and provide fast and even heating. Even heating is essential when cooking because it ensures safety from hot oils and protection from undercooked foods. It also affects the taste of the food by keeping the temperature balanced.
The bonded aluminum of the Calphalon Classic stainless steel line contributes to even heating with excellent distribution.
Calphalon has both a limited and lifetime warranty, depending on the product.
The company offers a lifetime warranty on some items such as the Calphalon Classic traditional nonstick. The Calphalon Ceramic nonstick, on the other hand, comes with a 10-year warranty.
Although Calphalon does provide its warranty policy in detail, the company promises only to replace items that are defective during normal usage. Unfortunately, it seems that Calphalon places the cost of shipping any item returned to the customer.
Furthermore, Calphalon will not replace any items due to minor imperfections or damage from normal wear and tear.
For many potential buyers, reputation is an important factor to consider. Calphalon has been a well-known brand of cookware in kitchens across the U.S. for over 50 years, they have a reputation for creating durable and easy to use pieces. They aren’t afraid to evolve and expand their cookware line and provide plenty of options.
Compared To Competitors
Calphalon Classic is in good company compared to the other Calphalon lines like the Simply Calphalon, Contemporary, Premier, Signature, and Tri-Ply.
These lines offer durable exterior and interior construction that will withstand the test of time in the kitchen no matter how much cooking and washing it endures. These lines also provide nonstick interiors, oven-safe usage of up to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit, and stay cool stainless steel handles.
Another essential feature is the nonstick coat. All Calphalon nonstick lines have anodized aluminum, the layer of aluminum oxide found on the pan’s inside surface. The harder and thicker the coating is, the more durable it will b
One feature that the Calphalon Classic and Ceramic nonstick lines have that the others do not are the pour spouts and fill lines. These small details make for easy cooking and managing (a must for most cooks.)
Is Calphalon Classic Right For You?
Choosing the right cookware set, or even individual pieces may seem like a daunting task. There are many different details to consider. The Calphalon Classic may be the product for you if you are looking at investing in cookware that is somewhat durable and easy to use.
Although pricier than some, the Calphalon Classic line is well worth the price. Spending the money will surely save you money later. Having durable and sustainable cookware may be the best decision.
If appropriately used, Calphalon Classic products will be part of your kitchen for several years. Their practical design, including pour spouts, cool handles, fill lines, and easy storage, are all positive elements.
It would be wise for the concerned customer to keep in mind some complaints that have been linked to the line. Still, information such as this is so easily accessible, the consumer can rest assured that they are making a sound choice.